Brandon Lord

Brandon Lord

M.S. in Commerce (Business Analytics) 2016, University of Virginia

B.S. in Applied Biotechnology 2015, University of Georgia

After: Analyst at Enterprise Analytics (Las Vegas, NV)

Now: Corporate Hotel Operations Manager at Caesars Entertainment Corporation (Las Vegas, NV)

Transitioning from liberal arts to business

As an undergraduate student, my academic focus was primarily theoretical. I majored in Applied Biotechnology, and utilized a minor in Agricultural & Applied Economics to attempt to bridge the gap between my theoretical scientific coursework and what impact the micro-level adjustments could have on the "bigger picture." I also placed a great deal of value on my laboratory coursework and undergraduate research opportunities. However, it wasn't until beginning the M.S. in Commerce Program that I began to realize the tremendous difference between classwork and business. In sum, all of the areas McIntire places an emphasis on create a rock solid foundation for a career in business of any sort.

Most memorable class

The course I reflect upon the most would have to be “Organizational Behavior.” Realize that as you enter the "real world," there is nothing more important than relationships. Always remember that you are dealing with other people—no matter what position they hold, experience they have, or title is associated with them. They have feelings, just like you and everyone else, and you absolutely must learn to deal with each person as an individual in order to be successful in your career.

Preparation for a career in business

The biggest skill I learned was being able to work in groups. There is no way to avoid this in the business world. I was able to learn how to identify people’s strengths and weaknesses, and play to them. You will undoubtedly find yourself part of a working group in your career, and the most efficient way to work is typically by allowing each individual's strengths to shine. By doing so, you can get very different and revealing perspectives on various problems by allowing everyone in the group to comment freely—no matter their expertise or strength.

Favorite part of your job

International engagement. Coincidentally, I have had the unique opportunity to more deeply explore two of my three Global Immersion Experience (GIE) countries. I love working with unique people and cultures. It’s definitely more of a challenge than working solely with people whom you see eye to eye with, but without a doubt it is more interesting, rewarding, and fulfilling.

Typical day on the job

Today is Tuesday, so here goes: Arrive early (7:45ish) to check up on emails, grab coffee, sort things away for the day. 8 a.m.: My small group of three always gets together, typically in the morning when things are less hectic, to discuss broader topics/industry trends/and do a bit of "chit-chatting." 9 a.m.: head across the street to one of our nine properties in Las Vegas, meet with the general manager, update him/her on corporate initiatives, discuss business trends, identify areas requiring support, and pencil out upcoming actions required of him/her or us. 10 a.m.: It’s project meeting or project work time—address ongoing large-scale projects. The "flavor of the month" for us now is ensuring that a recently created team of 60+ people has all the support and information they need to succeed at their job 11 a.m.: Lunch. We're thankful for FREE FOOD every day in this industry! Noon-2 p.m.: It’s project meeting or project work time again. This afternoon it’s focusing on conceptually building a new brand of product that we intend to roll out in the near future. 2-3 p.m.: Another meeting with one of our general managers. 3-4 p.m.: Since we can't drive around the Strip, this is basically walk and talk time, when we have the opportunity to catch up on various topics while walking back to headquarters. 4-5 p.m.: Generally a solid chance that it’s later than 5 p.m. :) but this is typically time to continue work from earlier in the day, catch up on emails from throughout the day, do more "solo" work, etc.

Advice for those considering working in the hospitality industry

Hospitality is 24/7. If you're not looking for a lifestyle, and just a "job," you're probably looking in the wrong field. However, if you're at all interested, these are some of the most interesting and global/well- rounded colleagues you can find. And it’s worth mentioning, the industry perks are terrific!

Importance of GIE

My GIE experience absolutely plays a key role in my career today. We just opened a new property in Dubai. I happened to visit the city on GIE, so I knew it fairly well. The intricacies of working in a global environment are real, so having a head start on this was invaluable.